Ephesians 6:12 – Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace…the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
My Musings – A soldier would not go into battle without being properly armed and protected. So it should be with us. We do spiritual battle every day but are largely unprepared for it, then wonder why God allows us to get beat up so much of the time.
My Advice – Be ready for spiritual battles. While there may not be demons hiding behind every challenge or misfortune, you still need to be wary. Satan does not want you living for God, so be on your guard. Be truthful and live a righteous life. Be ready to share the good news. Strengthen your faith. Be secure in your salvation and study God’s Word.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 – Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Satan will not always use blatant evil to thwart the Gospel and sidetrack the believer. He may use “good causes” that only appear good on the surface, but are only a “mask” of the evil that hides beneath. He will hide evil behind such basic good causes as choice, diversity, science, freedom, rights, etc…. We must be careful that evil does not sneak in with the good.
My Advice – It is noble to be kind and tolerant of other people. But be careful about being tolerant and accepting of other peoples faiths and teachings. They may appear noble and bear a degree of social consciousness. Just be aware that Satan is a masquerader, a counterfeiter and a liar.
2 Corinthians 10:3 – For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – It is a sad fact that we often cannot tell the Christians apart from the lions based upon their actions.
My Advice – In your fight to “get ahead” make sure it is a noble and honorable fight. It you have to fight for things the way the world does, perhaps the battle is not worth it. You either need to change your tactics or find another battlefield.
2 Corinthians 1:8-9 – We do not want you to be uninformed about the hardships we suffered…far beyond our ability to endure. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – While Paul did not have the ability to endure, we know that he did until he was martyred. During all this he learned to rely on God.
My Advice – Learn from hardships. Learn to rely on God. He will never fail you.
1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – A key word in this verse that can easily be missed is also. First off God has given us the ability to simply resist temptation. And while we do not need it, He also has given us a backup plan. With every temptation He will provide a way of escape.
My Advice – Do not think that your temptations are special. They are common. Others have escaped them and you can too. God doubly blesses with the ability to resist as well as a means of escape.
1 Corinthians 1:8 – He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We rely on our own strength too much to combat temptation. We are not strong enough in our own strength, but more than strong enough if we rely on God’s strength.
My Advice – Do not think that you are too weak to resist temptation, too weak to be obedient. God will keep you strong if you ask Him too.
Romans 7:18, 24, 25 – I know that nothing good lives in me, that is my sinful nature. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! (NIV 1984)
My Musings – We have a sin nature, but we do not have to be slaves to it. God has rescued us from it through His Son’s death and resurrection.
My Advice – Do not let your sin nature rule over you. God has rescued you from it. That is the truth, straight from God’s Word. Satan lies to you, like he lies to us all, that we cannot overcome our sin nature so we might as well accept it.